My third diving trip this year, supposed to go for a major one in Derawan, Indonesia, but one of our dive kaki friends couldn't make it and he's usually the guy who handles everything so we decided to opt that one out hehe.
Still, three dive trips a year is pretty good I think. I'm gonna try to make it more often if I can. Which, hopefully should be really achievable with my future work schedule. But these trips are gonna take a large chunk off my savings.
Anyway, I'd like to think this trip as a sort of warm up event to the main 5-week stay in a vessel (digressing, I've toured the vessel, seen the food they serve in the galley, looks very yummy. I can live this way. I think.)
By Friday evening, we gathered at the Tanah Merah ferry terminal before boarding the MV White Manta. Super excited!
Exploring our tiny room. The girls.
And the guys
View from the stern. Note how the sea is still blue green when we were closer to cities.
Me and my mate of 20 years!
Itinerary drafted to the final day, and they're really punctual with the timings too. 5:45pm say will depart and chun chun 5:45pm we took off. Chun chun 8pm dinner, and dinner is definitely served at that time. Great time management.
Stopped for a bit at Batam to get our passports checked and stamped. But one of the crew did it for us - we didn't have to leave the boat.
With the Thai crew onboard, needless to say, our meals are of Thai influences and the food they served for us were excellent! First night dinner consists of stir fried taugeh, deep fried chicken wings, veg, green curry chicken and stir fried basil chicken yum yumers. Food was buffet style, but just about enough for everyone. Canned drinks are chargeable but based on honesty. If you take a can from the chiller, then you just write down your name and the quantity you took.
After dinner, we started setting up our gears so we have one less thing to worry about next morning. By the way, that's our dive master Marcus, very cute looking guy. drool (lucky lucky) He also has a bodhi tree tattoo!
I was burned out by 10pm, while the others were watching some movie playing in the cabin, I trudged back to our room and konked off. At 8am the next day, we were woken up and this lovely breakfast spread awaits us :D
Eggs sunny side up, fried bacon, salad and fruits. Oh by the way, breads for toast and other drinks such as coffee, milo, etc are always available if you're hungry between meals (great for people like me who needs to get fed every few hours).
Beautiful start to our Day 1! Check out how BLUE the sea is!! I love, love, love this shade of the ocean :) <-- contented smile. I think I'll be seeing lots of this in the future leh. hmm.
First dive on the Seven Skies Wreck. We were diving nitrox and went as deep as 38m. My dive comp was beeping like mad before I realized it was coming from my own wrist and I was in too deep :x whoopsie
I'm not sure if because it was still the first dive of this trip, or what but I label this by far the most challenging dive I've had to make. Currents were strong and it was hard work and 50bars consumed going down the line to the wreck. I started thinking nonsense on the way down and prayed hard I would make this through. Now, thinking back, I was just being ridiculous, but the dive certainly is no joke lor...
Second dive went on the Seven Skies again before we took off and anchored at this Pulau Damar.
Puffer fish here. Nothing spectacular sighted.... I think I need to get strobes to get nicer pictures :s
The Pinnacle on Pular Damar.
This is how the diving platform looks like on the stern of our MV. I really enjoyed LOBs. It felt less tiring as we didn't have to travel by boats to dive sites, or carry our equipments across the beach... It was all just the huge vessel anchoring at the dive site, we gear up and dive - that's it!
Oh I didn't take shots of the tea time we had.... Nothing worth taking though. We were served fried popiahs and samosas.
Dinner!!! Awesome, awesome meal by the Thai crew again. Satays, fried tempura prawns, grilled pork ribs, corn on cob, mashed taters, salad and fried rice. :D After dinner I got an hour-long massage for $30 on the upper deck. It was blissful with the engine droning in the background and the soft breeze playing on your face... mmm.....
Next morning woke up at the ungodly hour of 6am. We are diving another wreck today again. Igara!
One of the crew divers who had to dive into the wreck to secure the rope that attaches to our MV came up and announced that the current was super, super, super strong. And the dive may only be fit for experienced divers. The other girls were concerned and decided to skip this one as we were told the currents is way stronger than the first dive we've had to make. I wanted to go down, for the sake of gaining experience diving in harsh environment but decided to forgo as well because I didn't want to risk my life if I'm not confident.
The other guys went down and one of them emerged after 10minutes of diving. He said he was trying to go down the line but even after what felt like a long time, when he checked his dive comp, he was only still at 5 meters! lol. So he decided to skip that one as well. He described the dive somewhat similar to riding a motorcyle with the current is whipping on you hahaha.
After a breakfast of cereal, bananas and I can't remember what else (oh ya, roti canai! very awesome ones if I may add), for the second Igara wreck dive, Suewern and I decided to go for it. The current is so strong that we had to jump into the waters while holding on to the rope! But it was fun! Visibility was really bad though. A whale shark could have swam right close by to us and we probably would not have realized. Ah well. Lunch awaits us!
Another yummy lunch! Sweet and sour sotong, stir fried spicy kangkung, a sort of savoury beef and vegetable spicy sour soup, chicken curry and more fruits. Lip smacking.
The girls again.
Final ride back to Singapore waters.... chillaxing on the lounge-cum-eating-cum-briefing area. It started getting dark and drizzled for a bit - just great for naps and hot neslo + dipping in those square biscuits with sugar ones. nomnomnomzzzz.............